Finding ways to de-stress can be hard enough in today’s fast-paced world, but it’s especially important to nurture yourself during the busy holiday season.
Between shopping for the person who has everything, caroling at the neighbor’s doorstep, cooking, volunteering, and placing licorice drops on the shingles of the gingerbread house, you might be left wondering who has time to unwind amidst all the merriment this year.
Yet just an hour of some much-needed pampering can keep holiday spirits from sagging. Imagine a room filling with steam, soft music and the gentle scent of lavender. This could be the beginning of the delightful experience of a necessary indulgence—getting a facial.
Dr. James Libecco, a board certified dermatologist in Fairlawn, says the skin is “one of the most energy-dependent organs in the body.” This means its health can suffer with the frenzied activity that happens around the holidays. Not only that, but as the body’s largest organ, it is the first thing other people notice. Libecco points out that the appearance of skin can have an enormous effect on confidence levels, which, if not attended to with precise care, can put a damper on joy.
Another reason to give the epidermis extra special attention during the winter is that the dry, cold air can take its toll. Libecco recommends sticking to a daily regimen that, at a very minimum, consists of adequate washing and moisturizing and using products that contain few ingredients. Staying hydrated is also critical to the general health and condition of skin.
Visiting a salon or spa for a facial can be an added gift to boost lagging energy. In the Akron area, facials range from $60-$110, and the varieties are seemingly endless. A classic, often called a European, facial is usually a safe bet, but facials uniquely tailored for men, facials designed to promote anti-aging (often incorporating vitamins A, C, D, E and antioxidants), ones using oxygenation to increase the firmness of skin, seaweed facials, even facials including hot and cold stone therapy are commonly offered treatments at salons and spas in the Akron area.
Facials are performed by estheticians, or skin care specialists. In order to receive a license in Ohio, estheticians are required to complete at least 600 hours of training, even taking courses in anatomy, chemistry, physiology and histology (study of body tissues) and pass an exam given by the State Board of Cosmetology.
Generally, getting a facial means steam, exfoliation, a deep cleansing mask, moisturizing, mini-massage and extraction (the process of gently unclogging pores, when done appropriately). Possible add-ons are lip conditioning and soothing eye masks, among others.
However, it is still essential for a consumer to choose a treatment that is customized for individual skin type, Libecco cautions. It’s a good idea to consult a dermatologist about any underlying skin conditions and do your research on the products a salon or spa uses before making an appointment. In addition, it could be beneficial to investigate a salon’s methods—if extraction is performed too aggressively, scarring can occur. Yet, if an hour of much-deserved pampering is the goal, discuss any concerns with the esthetician and then relax.
Salons and spas that offer facials can also provide other services such as waxing, body wraps, peels, microdermabrasion, and non-surgical facelifts. Libecco also advises that realistic expectations about how much a spa or salon can do for your skin are key. If reduced wrinkles, improved appearance of broken blood vessels or removal of brown spots are the desired result, a discussion with a dermatologist about medical treatment options may be the first step. While the doctor’s office may not render the same kind of relaxing atmosphere as at a salon or spa, cosmetic dermatology can still be rejuvenating and refreshing and build confidence level.
The best thing you can do for the body’s natural covering between festivities this winter is to give it some careful attention. While putting others first will surely remain a major objective this season, setting aside even a short amount of time to revive depleted spirits can make all the difference in your ability to spread holiday cheer.